Review: The Wolverine
Just to state where I stand with the X-Men movies, I’ll say that I’ve been entertained thoroughly, but am well aware of the issues and flaws they have made. X-Men 3 the last stand was bad because of the errors made, but in the end none of it mattered because Cyclops was never shown as killed, Jean is the Phoenix and has come back before, Xavier transferred his mind to another body that looked just like him, and the mutants that had lost their powers all got them back. With X-men Origins Wolverine, we got a whole mess of things, and while I enjoyed the story, I felt they crammed way too much in, destroyed what we knew of Deadpool, and had terrible fake plastic claws with too much ridiculous CGI. The other 3 movies I loved (particularly X-2 and First Class, the prior being my favorite).
So where does The Wolverine come in? Let me tell you, I was really skeptical going in. Origins left a bad taste in my mouth, and let’s face it the trailers for The Wolverine had me upset. I didn’t want to see a completely CG looking bullet train fight, and With Silver Samurai being a robot?!?!? WTF?!?! Thankfully, I was wrong on BOTH of these accounts. Warning there are major spoilers ahead, so if you want my rating skip to the last paragraph.
First with the negative:
1) VIPER: Why? Why? Why? There was no need (I mean ABSOLUTELY NO NEED) to make her a mutant. It served no purpose. She would have been just as deadly as a toxin making biochemist, as she was made here. Her powers were pointless, and other than the green outfit, she didn’t resemble her comic counterpart in looks.
2) Explaining the tapping of the healing factor. Silver Samurai drilled into Logan’s bone to steal his healing, but it isn’t explained how that works or how it just reversed once those drills were removed.
3) Wait, there was no #3… Yes I said it. If I had to pick something, I’d just say that I wish the 12 minutes of extra footage that would have made this movie a bloody rated R, would have been there, but I guess I’ll be okay with waiting for the DVD to see this.
My brother did point out that he did not like the CGI bear in the beginning, but I honestly didn’t have a problem with it because at times, it looked really cool, and I’m a more forgiving person when it comes to that.
And on to the positive:
1) Silver Samurai: Although he was altered slightly from the comics (in this case, being an adamantium suit of armor, I LOVED what they did. Yashida (the elderly one) was still this character, and I enjoyed that he used his technology to work with Adamantium, so much so that he was able to create a superheated lightsaber type sword to cut through the nearly indestructable metal.
2) Japan and the Japanese story ark: Sure, they altered some things (Yukio was never a mutant in the comics), but what they changed served a purpose. Yukio having a minor ability actually needed to be in this movie otherwise it wouldn’t have flowed as well, and certain things wouldn’t have worked (I.E. Yashida still being alive, and wolverine cutting out his own heart).
3) No healing factor: This, along with the constant emotional drama he had going on, made Logan an extremely deadly weapon. He killed. He killed a lot. He was very violent, and you got to see his berzerker rage kick in through most of the action sequences. My spine tingles thinking of how awesome the fights were.
4) Shingen, Mariko, and the Yashida Jr.: Okay, I’m getting lazy on the third one’s first name, but his part was so small it was only to serve a purpose. The three of them seemed to be taken right from the pages of the comics. Mariko was beautiful. She looked almost exactly like certain artwork done of her in the past, and she was a good companion for Logan.
5) Jean Grey: Yes, she’s back, only in his dreams…. or is she? I’m wondering if a part of the dark phoenix transferred itself to Logan’s mind when he killed her in X3. It seemed so much more than a dream at points, but helped to progress the story. Also, her part was much larger than the simple cameo I thought she’d have. Plus, I’ll never have a problem seeing Famke Jansen on screen. Especially when her cleavage is so prominently shown.
6) Bone Claws: I have no problem at all with where this story left us. He still has an adamantium skeleton, and is deadly regardless of whether his claws are metal or not. I actually like that they did this because of it making him a little more human. Besides, he did get his healing factor back, so why not give him a slight disadvantage?
7) The mid credits Scene: Magneto and Xavier showing up with Trask industries plastered all over the screen? Wolverine acknowledging that he wants to know how it is possible (referring to the results of X3), and Xavier telling him that famous line from X1? Magneto as an ally? This perfectly set up and led into X-Men Days of Future Past.
So where do we go from here? Well, we know DOFP is coming. We know they’ve announced an X-Force movie with Apocalypse as a villain. My dream lineup for this would be (Cable, Deadpool, Archangel, Domino, and Cyclops). They could fix the rest of the problems people have with the X films and assist in the reboot of the franchise alongside DOFP with this. (Sinister taking Cyclops right before the moment of his “Death” in X-3. Angel being taken by apocalypse.) Downside is that using Psylocke wouldn’t be smart because she was already in X-3. All that speculation and wishful thinking aside, where do we go with Wolverine? Should it end here? It would be a good last solo outing, but can they do more? They left it open. I’d like to see a movie that takes place between this and DOFP. He and Yukio go to Canada and meet the Alpha Flight. Together they take on Omega Red. Sabretooth returns, and they address the lack of communication between the two in X1. This time, he wants to kill Logan’s new friends (just like the team in Origins), and in the end Yukio stays with Alpha Flight. It is the ONLY what I think they can go to top this movie or be on par with it, and I’d welcome it.
My analysis? The Wolverine had great performances all around. The story was solid. It was a love story with PLENTY OF WOLVERINE RAGE ACTION. And I think it made up for any mistakes made in the past, though like I mentioned, it is not perfect. It Does however now kick X-2 into second place, and The Wolverine is now my favorite of the X-Films (even though it doesn’t feel like an X-film at all.) I’m giving it an 8 out of 10, only for the reason that Viper still leaves a bad taste in my mouth (pun intended). Kudos to Hugh Jackman, Fox, and all involved. What did you think?